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SFE - Maintenance Loan


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Is anyone able to offer any clarity about the new rules for applying for a maintenance loan when studying as a disabled student with the OU?  It appears on face value that the evidence required is 1)Medical letter stating unable to travel to university and 2) correspondence that been in touch with at least one HEP who state they are unable to accommodate disabled students needs.  The two apparent relevant paragraphs have caused us confusion.  TIA


Information relating to part-time maintenance loan funding available to disabled students on distance learning courses - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


In order to assess whether a distance learning applicant would be eligible to receive the full-time support package/part-time maintenance loan, evidence is required and each applicant’s individual circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Evidence should include, but is not limited to:

  • medical evidence from their GP and/or Consultant confirming that the student’s condition prevents them from travelling to/from their Higher Education Provider (“HEP”) and physically attending their HEP; and
  • evidence that the student has had discussions with their HEP/multiple HEPs about the facilities available, accessibility and why the HEP/s cannot accommodate the student’s requirements. This could be emails/correspondence between the student and different HEPs – this is to be differentiated from a “rejection letter”.

For disabled students who apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance and who are studying via distance learning, there is no requirement to provide any evidence that applicants wishing to receive a maintenance loan are asked to provide. Disabled distance learning students’ allowance is provided for by regulation 127 of the 2011 Student Support Regulations.

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